November Plan

With Jack Murtha coming out in full force against the war for a second time, the question is raised yet again. What the hell are we going to do with Iraq? What are we going to do on a lot of issues?

The Democrats are obviously more competent at this point but will have a hard time showing that without some real, detailed plans for the country. I saw Howard Dean on CNN today and he kept saying how we have the better ideas, which is obviously true. But what Karl Rove and company do so well is drive home their points, none of which actually make any sense. It is the constant mashing of their propaganda into the depths of your soul which keeps their approval ratings above 0.

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Manic Attorney Demands Psychiatric Treatment

"Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most." I am a lawyer, but I don't practice law any longer; the struggle was too great.  I'm manic depressive and have been most of my life.  I had hoped I could overcome it.  Now, I wish I hadn't done many of the things I did, but I can't take them back.  If only I could've gotten psychiatric care earlier, I think things might have been different.

Cross-Posted at 116

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Senate May Kill Vital Healthcare Safeguards TODAY: Call Your Senators!

Today's Enzi diary is short and to the point: The Senate plans to vote today on ending debate (a vote for "cloture") on the Enzi bill, a nasty bill that would endanger vital healthcare protections by overriding state laws guaranteeing coverage for crucial services such as cancer screenings, mammograms, mental health, well-child care and many others.

We've been beating the drum on this here for two weeks, but today may be our last chance to stop this bill from passing. If you're anywhere near a phone, please pick it up, call your Senators and tell them to oppose the Enzi bill by voting against ending debate (against cloture). Here's our toll-free number: 1-800-828-0498. Don't wanna call? Then email your Senators here.

See our previous diaries or our Enzi Center for more info--but above else, take action!

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Do Nothing Republicans Waste Time on More Posturing

With more than 45 million Americans living without healthcare it's no wonder Senate Republicans declared "health week." But what, exactly, did this "health week" entail? Real reform to America's excessively expensive healthcare system? Much needed adjustments to the poorly crafed Medicare prescription drug plan? Of course not! Rather than working towards tangible change that would affect the lives of every day Americans, the Do Nothing Republican Congress simply put forward a couple of faux-fixes that had no chances of passing. Sheryl Gay Stolberg has the story for The New York Times.

The Senate on Monday once again rebuffed a Republican effort to limit jury awards in medical malpractice cases, taking the issue -- a high priority for both President Bush and the majority leader, Senator Bill Frist -- off the agenda for this year.

In back-to-back votes, Republicans fell far short of the 60 senators necessary to proceed on two malpractice-related measures. The first would have capped jury awards in all lawsuits against doctors and health care institutions; the second would have applied caps only to cases involving obstetricians, who have been especially hard-hit by malpractice rates.


Mr. Frist's Democratic counterpart, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, branded the effort "a waste of the Senate's time."


In a sense, the votes had more to do with politics than policy. Mr. Frist knew going into the debate that the measures were likely to be blocked but wanted to put Democrats on record before the midterm elections in November. After the votes, he issued a news release headlined "Frist Denounces Democrat Obstruction of Medical Liability Reform." [emphasis added]

By and large, Americans are getting sick and tired of the posturing by the Republican Congress, putting politics ahead of policy. While there is an understanding that there will be some sybolic acts in politics, Americans want to see some substance, too, and the Do Nothing Republican Congress simply can't provide it.

No increased funding for stem cell research, even though the majority of the Congress favors it. No changes to Social Security, even though the Republicans claimed the program was in crisis. No serious move to insure the uninsured, even though leaving tens of millions devoid of coverage is both an economic and moral disaster. No changes to America's immigration policy, even though the Republican base is clamoring for it. No decrease in the massive budget deficit, even though our growing national debt is already affecting the economy. No oversight on Iraq, even though the country is descending into a civil war.

At a time at which Americans need real leadership, assertiveness and action the Republican Congress either cannot or will not provide it. And the only remedy for such potentially-crippling inaction is the election of Democratic majorities in both the House and the Senate in November.

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Dean: "Do you want more of the same, or do you want real change?"

Cross-posted at the DNC Blog and DailyKos

On Tuesday, Nebraska and West Virginia hold their primary elections.  Friday marks the last day of the candidate filing period in Florida and Nevada.  This weekend Utah, Minnesota and Illinois host district and state conventions.  The 2006 election season is in full swing and Democrats are ready.

Governor Howard Dean said it best this weekend on ABC's "This Week":

"We want real change in this country, and that's the central election issue. Do you want more of the same, or do you want real change? Because the Democrats are ready to lead again."

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